How a 4-day work week can help reduce burnout in women – KESQ

By Melissa López-Martínez, staff writer for

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TORONTO (CTV Network) — As the four-day work week gains popularity among companies around the world, some say this model could help change a work culture that often leaves women behind.

A test of the work model by UK non-profit organization 4 Day Week Global found that business income increased and employees had a better work-life balance when full-time employees worked one day. less per week. Companies engaged in variously structured four-day work models, all of which involved a reduction in work time while employees maintained their full salary.

In addition, the trial found that men increased their childcare responsibilities by 27 percent, compared to women, whose childcare responsibilities increased by approximately 13 percent.

“It’s not just about equity in the workplace, it’s also equity at home, where men are more likely to take on caregiving responsibilities, chores, and that’s what’s going to level the playing field,” she said. Grace Tallon, head of operations at the Reduced Work Time Center of Excellence, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

And it’s not just women with children who experience inequity, Tallon says, as other family responsibilities often fall on women as well. Whether it’s caring for aging parents or other family members, she says that, in most cases, women sacrifice their career goals to take on these responsibilities.

“It’s not just about working moms,” Tallon said. “You’re taking care of elderly parents or carrying other family members who need support, and it’s usually women who do that.”

Since the pandemic, women have been experiencing a greater amount of burnout. According to a 2022 Deloitte report, 46% of 5,000 women in 10 different countries reported feeling burned out by work, and 53% reported higher levels of stress than the previous year. A NECESSARY CHANGE IN WORKPLACE CULTURE

Beatrix Dart, a professor of strategy at the University of Toronto and executive director of the Women in Business Initiative, says this model will only work in the best interest of employees if boundaries are created to ensure they are not taken advantage of, especially when about technology

Post-pandemic, technology allowed more people to settle in to work from home, and while this allowed for greater flexibility for some, it also blurred the lines between work-life balance.

“We have to take advantage of technology so that maybe it allows us to work from home more, but we also don’t want you to work on those days that you’re not supposed to work,” Dart said. in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Dart says the technology can be used to limit overtime work; For example, using AI technology like automated messages to help out during off hours, or perhaps shutting down the company network so that some employees will discourage extra work if they are tempted to check their emails.

“You need a workplace culture where it’s okay not to check your messages for those three days you’re gone,” he said.

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